Although I have endeavored throughout the foregoing pages to be particular in stating the season or date at which each gardening operation should be done, still it may save time to the novice, and be otherwise of advantage, to briefly suggest what work should be done each month.
But little need now be done in either; in the greenhouse care must be exercised with the fires to protect against frost, as this is usually the coldest month of the year; it is also that in which there is the least sunshine. But little ventilating need be done, but when it does become necessary to do it, caution must be used; be careful to raise the ventilating sash only so high that the heated air from the greenhouse will be able to drive back the outer air to such an extent as not to chill the plants. For example, occasionally after a very cold night, where severe firing has been necessary to keep up the required temperature, say to 60°, it happens that the sun comes out bright during the following day, so that by noon or before, the temperature may be at 100° inside the greenhouse, though outside it may be nearly at zero; in such case the raising of the sashes an inch or two will rapidly lower the temperature of the greenhouse, so that an hour or so of such ventilating would be all that is required. If the greenhous3 is heated by flue or even by hot water, examine nightly, that no combustible material is laid on the flue or thrown against the chimney of the boiler. As little fresh air can be given, insects are to be watched this month closely; by the use of fire heat a dry atmosphere will be created in which the red spider luxuriates; nothing answers so well for its destruction as copiously syringing the plants at night, and splashing the paths with water, as it cannot exist to an injurious extent in a moist atmosphere. The Aphis, or "green fly," must also be destroyed, or it will soon cause great injury to the plants. Tobacco in almost any form is death to it; it may be either used by burning the stems or dusted on as snuff, or syringed on in liquid form; for full directions see body of the work. Hyacinths and other bulbs that have been kept in cellar or other dark, cool place, may now be brought into the light of the greenhouse, provided they have filled the pots with roots, if not well rooted, leave them where they are until they are so, or select such of them as are best, and leave the others until ready. In the outside flower-garden little can be done except that shrubs may be pruned, or new work, such as making walks or grading, if weather permits.
Nothing can be done this month in the northern states except to prepare manure, and get sashes, tools, etc., in working order, but in sections of the country where there is but little or no frost, the hardier kinds of seeds and plants may be sown and planted, such as asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, leek, lettuce, onion, parsnip, peas, spinach, turnip, etc., etc. In any section where these seeds can be sown in the open ground, it is an indication that hot-beds may be begun for the sowing of such tender vegetables as tomatoes, egg and pepper plants, etc., though unless in the extreme southern states, hot-beds had better not be started before the first of February.